News Headlines Reveal that Scaffold Safety is Still a Significant Problem in New York City

The headlines and the attached new stories are seemingly everywhere. “Workers Clinging To High Rise FiDi Scaffolding Rescued”… “3 Injured After High Winds Take Down Scaffolding Atop Brooklyn Building”… “Midtown scaffold breaks loose, falling bricks hurt 2 pedestrians.” Wherever you look, it seems that there is a scaffold accident somewhere in New York City that has injured or nearly killed one or more construction workers.

There’s a reason why the New York law that protects construction workers injured as a result of falls or falling objects is sometimes called the “Scaffold Law,” and that’s because so many of these accidents involve workers using scaffolds who were hurt or killed because they were provided with unsafe scaffolds or inadequate fall protection. If you’ve been hurt in a construction accident involving a scaffold, don’t delay. Reach out to an experienced New York City construction injury attorney today learn more about the legal options available that may permit you to recover substantial compensation.

In a late June incident, the scaffold reportedly failed because it was unable to withstand the weather conditions. According to CBS New York, a scaffold in Park Slope was brought down by high winds in that part of Brooklyn. No workers were injured, though three people in the building next door were. The reason this accident was not more harmful – or deadly – than it was appears to have been due, at least in part, to luck. The scaffold collapsed on a Sunday afternoon, when there were no construction workers on it. One can imagine that, if this had occurred on a Monday afternoon, the outcome would have been far more tragic.

Earlier that month, a scaffold in Midtown Manhattan “somehow came loose,” according to the ABC 7 report. The accident left two pedestrians with minor injuries. It also left two workers, who were on that scaffold, dangling until the FDNY could rescue them. After the Department of Building investigated, it hit the contractor with six violations and a partial stop work order. The accident was the result of the contractor’s “failure to properly use the suspended scaffold.”

Sadly, another scaffold accident from back in the spring – this one on Madison Avenue — did end in a tragic outcome. A construction worker from Queens was working on a scaffold five floors off the ground. While working, he fell through part of the scaffold and plummeted 30 feet to the second floor. He ultimately died from his injuries. A therealdeal.com report indicated that the scaffold from which the worker fell did not have guardrails in the area where the accident took place.

Scaffold accidents can occur in many different ways

What all these accidents tell you is just how serious an issue scaffold safety is, and just how dire the consequences can be when the proper steps are not taken. Safety-related failures when it comes to scaffolds can take many forms. Perhaps your work required a harness, but you were not given one. Perhaps you were given a harness but did not have a place to tie it off. Perhaps your scaffold was put together incorrectly and vulnerable to collapse. Any of these failures – along with countless others – can lead to catastrophic results.

When they do, you can recover damages under the Scaffold Law. If your job presented a risk of “elevation-related” risk of harm and you were hurt because you didn’t receive the proper protections to safeguard against those harms, then you may have the pieces of a winning case.

Every day, construction workers put their lives in the hands of others when they step out on scaffolds in New York City. When those responsible cut corners when it comes to safety, construction workers are put in danger and, too often, pay in the form of injury or death. If you’ve been injured at your construction job while you were working on a scaffold, you may be entitled to sue and collect a significant damages award. Talk to the skilled New York City construction injury attorneys at Arcia & Associates to get the advice and the help you need. Contact us at (718) 651-4363 to find out how we can help you.